Friday, September 14, 2018

Grilled Lamb Sirloin with Cèdre Héritage 2015 #Winophiles

This month Jill of L'Occasion invited the French Winophiles to post about Cahors. Here's her invitation. If you are reading this early enough feel free to join the live Twitter chat on Saturday, September 15th at 8am (Pacific time). Search for us with the hashtag #Winophiles. Or you can peruse those tweets at your leisure any other time.

And an admission: I think I have too much wine! Or maybe I just have too many recipe posts hanging out in draft form. Both are a possibility. So funny story, I bought this bottle of wine earlier in the year, knowing that I wanted to pair it for this event, the September editon of #Winophiles. I cooked and paired the wine with my Comforting Beef Stroganoff. Then I couldn't find the photos or remember what I paired with the wine. So I bought a second bottle of the same wine and did a whole new pairing! I guess the good part of that is that Jake and I actually preferred the second pairing. Before I get to my post, please check out the rest of the #Winophiles' articles.

The Cahors Crew

Cahors in My Glass
The Cahors area produces some of the richest, darkest red wines in France, primarily using the Malbec grape variety, sometimes referred to as "black wine." Mine didn't seem that dark. I poured and paired a Cèdre Héritage 2015.

Two brothers - Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe - have banned all herbicides and chemicals from their estate and work to produce Cahors wines that are polished and balanced. Their 2015 Malbec is the perfect example. 95% Malbec with a smidge of Merlot, this wine has ample tannins and a big personality.

Though I typically think of Malbec in association with Argentinian wines, the grape was originally grown in France. In fact, as far back as the 1300s, the Brits praised the 'Black Wine of Cahors.' This wine was rich, but approachable. I got herbs on the nose and some hints of black tea on the tongue. And, at its price point, it's a great value!

On My Plate
I thought about what to pair with the wine and settled on lamb. After a friend mentioned a leg of lamb with a coffee-vanilla rub - for pairing with a different wine - and I thought I'd play with that flavor profile with this one. Yep. It was amazing!

  • 1 pound lamb sirloins, butterflied
  • 2 T pink peppercorn salt blend
  • 1 t vanilla bean powder
  • 1 organic onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Blend the salt and vanilla bean powder together and rub the sirloins with the mixture. Let come to room temperature. And prepare your grill.

In the meantime, melt butter in olive oil. Stir in the onions and cook until they soften and start to turn translucent. Stir in the vanilla and cook until desired level of caramelization. Set aside.

Grill the lamb to your desired doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve covered with caramelized onions.

I served these with sautéed kale, grilled bear's head mushrooms, and smashed red marble potatoes.

Next month, the French Winophiles will be heading back to the Rhône Valley with Michelle from Rockin Red Blog at the lead. Can't wait.


  1. That lamb sounds sensational! I agree that lamb and Cahors tend to work well together. I had a Cèdre once as well, and I really enjoyed it. It was the 2014 (I had it last year), and it was already quite approachable, as you say. Not a big tannin bomb or anything.

  2. Providence....the second pairing needed to take place.

  3. Your lamb dish sounds great, I'll file it away for the next time Julie is out of town!

  4. I love the idea of the coffee-vanilla rub with malbec! Since I don't do lamb, can you suggest another cut of meat that might work nicely? And how did you like the wine? I had the same wine and loved the nose. This one seemed expressive as it opened up!

  5. That little salt packet looks fab! Love your attention to ingredients.